Ohio Medical Malpractice: Laws, Claims and Damages
UPDATED: March 7, 2012
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OHIO MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
Ohio medical malpractice law offers legal protection to patients who have been negligently injured by a health care provider. Ohio health care providers must administer treatment within a standard of care that other experienced health care providers in the same profession would use. When failure to meet this standard of care results in injury to the patient, the health care provider is medically negligent and can be sued for medical malpractice. Common situations in which an Ohio medical malpractice suit might arise include:
- Surgical injuries;
- Errors in prescribing medication;
- Misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose;
- Mistreatment or a failure to treat.
When a patient discovers an injury after having received treatment from a health care provider, they should contact an Ohio medical malpractice attorney immediately to discuss their options.
Who Can Be Sued in an Ohio Medical Malpractice Case?
Any individual or entity defined as a health care provider in Ohio can be sued for medical malpractice. A health care provider in Ohio is any individual or organization that provides medical treatment or services to patients. This is a broad definition, and can encompass doctors, nurses, surgeons, dentists, psychologists, physical therapists, midwives, clinics, hospice centers, and medical day care centers. If you believe you have been injured by a qualifying health care professional, but are not sure, an Ohio medical malpractice attorney can serve as a valuable resource in this inquiry and with any other legal questions you may have.
Ohio Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
An injured party must bring a claim for medical malpractice within a certain time frame before the claim is lost. This time frame is known as the statute of limitations. In Ohio, the statute of limitations is one year within the discovery of the injury, or one year from the date that the injury should have been discovered. If the injury goes undiscovered, the injured party cannot file a claim more than four years after the action or inaction that led to the injury. But if the injury is discovered a little over three years after the negligent act, the patient still has a full year to file the claim, even if this means the timeframe will exceed four years. Minors in Ohio, on the other hand, are treated differently – their statute of limitations does not start running until they have reached their eighteenth birthday.
Because the statute of limitations is complicated and will ultimately vary on a case-by-case basis, it is important that the injured party contact an Ohio medical malpractice attorney as soon as the injury is discovered to assess their options.
Caps on Medical Malpractice Claims in Ohio
While both economic and noneconomic damages are available to a patient in a medical malpractice suit, Ohio caps the amount of noneconomic damages the plaintiff may claim. Noneconomic damages are for all losses that are tough to measure in financial terms. This includes losses such as pain and suffering, physical disfigurement, and loss of companionship. Ohio limits noneconomic damages to $250,000, or three times the amount of economic damages, whichever is more. Regardless of the number of plaintiffs in the case, however, noneconomic damages cannot exceed $500,000. Ohio does provide an exception for plaintiffs who have suffered substantial or permanent harm. In these cases, a plaintiff can recover up to $500,000, but even if there are multiple plaintiffs, these damages cannot exceed 1,000,000.
As one can imagine, recoverable damages will vary greatly from one case to the next. To get an accurate estimate of the recoverable damages in your case, contact an Ohio medical malpractice lawyer to discuss the facts leading to your injury.
Filing an Ohio Medical Malpractice Claim
It’s important to talk to an experienced Ohio medical malpractice attorney before you file a claim. Medical malpractice suits can quickly turn complex, and you must contend not only with the procedural difficulties but also the experienced defense lawyers on the other side. Building a strong case takes time and significant effort. Among the many steps along the way are taking testimony from expert witnesses, depositions of the different parties involved, and multiple appearances in court.
Additionally, there could be more than one defendant to include in the claim. Potential defendants go beyond just the negligent party – they can also include their employer and the manufacturer of any defective medical equipment that played a part in your injury. An experienced Ohio medical malpractice attorney will guide you through this intricate legal process, and give you important leverage against the experienced attorneys the defendants are provided with by their insurance companies. It’s crucial for the outcome of your case to hire a lawyer who has experience in this field, as any mistake made along the way could be detrimental to your claim.
Ohio Medical Malpractice Laws
- Common Pleas: Jurisdiction: Limitation of Actions: Medical Malpractice Actions: Title 23, Chapter 2305, §2305.113.
- Common Pleas: Judgment: Limitation on compensatory damages that represent economic loss: Title 23, Chapter 2323, §2323.43.